Arts & Culture

Recognizing the First Conservatory of Music in Boston

(Left to right) Professor Franco Sciannameo, Carnegie Mellon University Music Historian and Prof. of Music — center Teresa Mazzulli, West End resident, right: Julie Burros, Chief of City of Boston Arts and Culture Department.

by Terri Mazzulli

A bronze plaque marks the site of ‘First Conservatory of Music in Boston” — the “American Conservatorio of Boston.” The conservatory was founded in 1800 by three immigrants: Filippo Trajetta (Italian, Francis Mallet (Frenchman) and Gottlieb Graupner (German).

Julie Burros, Chief of Arts and Culture in Boston, recently held a presentation at the site to Franco Sciannameo – music historian and professor of music at Carnegie Mellon University in Pittsburgh PA, in appreciation of bringing this wonderful “Boston-First” to light. Prof. Sciannameo is the author of two biographies on Venetial-born Filippo Trajetta — (the first bio written in the Italian language and published in Italy, and later another biography in English). Both clearly outlines how Trajetta’s music legacy — including his compositions that marked “genre first composed on American soil.”

Prof. Sciannameo was here last week at Boston College by invitation of Boston College Professors Franco Mormando and Mattia Acetoso, to lecture on “Nino Rota” and Ennio Morricone. Prof. Sciannameo came to Boston to see the bronze plaque, installed at the site of the 1800 Conservatory. The West End’s Privitera Family Foundation kindly “funded” the plaque, located on the Bedford Street façade of the “Church Green Building” at the intersection of Summer Street.

Thanks to Prof. Sciannameo’s books and my articles published in 2011-2012, we are bringing much deserved accolades to this first music conservatory in the United States.